Today we talk about the recommended must-have tools from podcast followers.
Reuben and Tessa go over the list of suggestions. They talk about Channellock vs Robo Grip pliers, an impact driver vs a drill, electric vs gas-powered saws, as well as various hand saws and reciprocating saws, wet-dry vacuums, pry bars and putty knives, 2ft or 4ft level, stud finders or stud buddies, vice grips, and mallets.
They also received suggestions about personal protective equipment such as work gloves, safety goggles, and earplugs. They talk about bizarre tools such as voltage detectors and sniffers, toilet plungers, water shut-offs, bottle openers, carpenter’s pencils, duct tapes, superglues, zip ties, and wall screws. However, some of the suggestions are useful for specific projects only. Reuben and Tessa argue some of the suggested tools.
The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Reuben Saltzman: Welcome to my house. Welcome to the Structure Talk podcast, a production of Structure Tech Home Inspections. My name is Reuben Saltzman. I’m your host alongside building science geek Tessa Murry. We help home inspectors up their game through education, and we help homeowners to be better stewards of their houses. We’ve been keeping it real on this podcast since 2019, and we are also the number one home inspection podcast in the world, according to my mom. Welcome back to the podcast. Tessa, how you doing? What’s new in your world?
Tessa Murry: Hey. Reuben, it’s good to see you as always. I don’t know, I guess there’s a few things happening in my life. I’ve been working at the wedding venue a lot recently and there’s a lot of weddings happening and there was some pretty wild ones this weekend. [laughter]
TM: Yeah, there was a wedding that, they’re supposed to shut down at midnight, but they kept going and dancing and the DJ was playing. We had to tell the DJ to shut it down multiple times and then they didn’t have enough shuttles to take all the drunk people back to town. It was pretty interesting. It was a good ti… They had a good time. They drank all of our beer and then some, I was there until…
RS: Oh my gosh.
TM: Two o’clock.
RS: Oh, I couldn’t do it.
RS: Good for you. Well, you’re more of a night owl.
TM: I am, yeah. I, but that was late for me, so yeah. That’s been fun. And I’ve been working on helping my sister get her rental house kind of up to par. She moved into a single family home in town here, and it’s a late 1800s built house and it’s got, I took a peek up in the attic, of course it’s got knob and tube wiring that’s spliced and it’s going through the cellulose insulation and they have these old ionization smoke alarms in the house. I’m like, “Danielle, you need to get some photo electric smoke alarms in here.” And I’ve been installing…
TM: Those smoke alarms for her and it’s an ongoing project, but, trying to make it a little bit safer.
RS: That sounds great.
TM: What’s new with you?
RS: I, not a whole lot. I’ve been just working on spring cleaning basically. I’ve got, we’ve got this filming that’s gonna be happening. It’s gonna happen at the office, it’ll happen at my house and at Mindy’s house we’re doing this TV show where Structure Tech is gonna be featured, and I don’t wanna give any more details than that, just in case we don’t like it or it doesn’t turn out the way we think it’s going to [laughter], but this has been a long time coming and…
RS: Filming day, from when we’re recording this podcast, filming day is tomorrow. I spent, all weekend trying to get my house in order, like clean up the yard, all the stuff that’s been accumulating over the winter. Get everything in order.
TM: Get the leaf blower out.
RS: Nice pull. No, I’m not cleaning the inside of my house Tess. [laughter] Yes.
TM: Well that’s really exciting. If this video is a keeper, when will the audience be able to watch it? Is this a summer reveal or a fall reveal or…
RS: I thought the finished product was gonna be available by today. I don’t even want to guess. We’ll film tomorrow. I’m guessing the finished product isn’t gonna be available for months.
RS: We’ll see.
RS: When it is out, believe me, I will talk about it on this podcast. [laughter]
TM: I can’t wait.
RS: Well. Yeah, we’ll see. I hope it turns out well. Tess, last week we did a show on the must have tools, our big tool list, my big tool list, and I had…
RS: You argue with them or agree with them or do whatever. And we also shared it. I did a YouTube video on it and I did a blog post about this and we shared this on our various platforms. And I had more comments for this one than I do on most other posts. Had a lot of ideas, lot of suggestions that different people had about, well, here’s a better tool list, or you gotta add this to your tool list. Lot of different ideas. And I thought, all right, let’s share ’em, let’s talk about ’em. And I’m not gonna argue with anybody’s ideas. Maybe I’ll agree with some of these. Maybe I’ll say, “Here’s the reason I didn’t put it on my list,” but let’s go over ’em. And Tess, I want you to argue these just like you did last week. Although you didn’t [laughter] you didn’t put a bunch of a fight but…
TM: Not much of a fight at all. And I appreciate all the feedback and the ideas that people are chiming in with. It’ll be fun to go through this list.
TM: Maybe you’ll change your mind on a few things, Reuben, and update your list.
RS: I, that’s very possible. I might, yeah, if I were to, I’ll say if I had done my list a month later, it probably would’ve been different. It’s a very subjective list.
RS: But I think it’s a great starter. All right, let’s go with the first one, Tess.
TM: Let’s dive in.
RS: First one, this suggestion comes from Aaron and he said a Channellock Pliers. Now, as we discussed on the podcast last week, and I talked about on my blog post Channellock is a brand name. It is not a type of pliers. What it surely means is a locking type of pliers with channels in it. Now, I don’t even know what to call this type of pliers. I always called it a Channellock two. What do you call that Tess?
TM: I don’t know. Channellock. I’m not the tool expert here, you are.
RS: Okay. All right. Well, I see where this person’s going, and I agree that is a fantastic wrench to have. However, I will say, way back in the day when I was working at Home Depot, I bought myself a competing set of pliers called a Robo Grip, or this is actually the Robo Grip 2.
RS: It feels like something that would only be good on one of those, as seen on TV commercials. It’s like, this is gotta be gimmicky. The Robo Grip. Give me a break. Even the name sounds a little cheesy, [laughter] but it’s essentially, it works just like a Channellock Pliers, but it’s self-adjusting. What… It’s got these big wide jaws and whatever you’re gonna grab onto, you just start squeezing and it auto adjusts perfectly to anything you’re grabbing on. And I say it beats the pants off a Channellock Pliers. It works perfectly.
TM: Yeah. Very convenient.
RS: And I don’t even know if they sell Robo Grip Pliers anymore. I hope they do. ‘Cause it’s fantastic. They are fantastic pliers. They are really as good as they say they are. I’ve had the same pair of pliers for probably 20 years now. Love them. Alright, Tess, you know what I, as we’re chatting, I just Googled this and I gotta make an edit. It looks like Home Depot doesn’t sell the Robo Grip Pliers anymore. That is so 1980s just anything that starts with Robo.
TM: Robo Gadget. Robo Grip.
RS: Yeah. But it, it looks like Amazon sells the Robo Grip Pliers. I’m seeing a two pack here for like 47 bucks for a couple different sizes. You could probably find individual ones if you keep looking, but, yeah, it looks like you don’t look at Home Depot for the Robo Grip anymore. Whatever.
TM: You gotta go to Amazon.
RS: And I’m looking at our list and it looks like Aaron wasn’t the only one. Jody also suggested a pair of Channellock style pliers. So that’s a great suggestion.
TM: I know, It is. It’s a good tool.
RS: And you know what Tess, this isn’t on the list, but my own that I, maybe we didn’t describe this well enough. I talked about a drill and you said you might prefer to just have an impact driver. And I did the radio show with the guys at all around last week, the day after we did this. And we talked about a bunch of these tools and the guy who was hosting, he’s like, no, wait, tell me what’s the difference between an impact driver and a drill. I’ve never used an impact driver. And I’m like, mind blown. ‘Cause We’re just, sometime we’re in our, our own world and we don’t even think, some people don’t even know what this stuff is.
TM: Okay. So yeah. Describe it for our listeners.
RS: What’s an Impact Driver. No, no, no, no. You, you describe it to us. Come on.
TM: Well, in layman’s terms, I would just say an impact driver has a lot more impact than a regular drill. It’s a lot stronger if you need to go through something really hard wood, you’ve got the extra oomph. How would you describe it?
RS: Yeah. Best way I could think of it is it’s gonna kind of be like using an air tool where if you go to a shop and you hear it go woo. And it goes brrr where it, it’s hitting to force something over and over again. It’s all these tiny little hits really fast. Instead of just having this really strong torque where you gotta hold, you gotta put two hands on your drill and you gotta hold it in place. The drill does all the work. I’ve got a perfect demonstration of this where I set up in my backyard. I had a regular drill where I had a one inch or a one and a half inch drill bit. This is a boring bit. I mean, it really carves into that wood. And you gotta use two hands to keep your drills steady.
RS: And if, I mean, if it turns the slightest way one way or the other, it really moves the whole drill. I mean, this thing you, you need to hold that drill solid. But then I took an impact driver and all I did was I put my thumb and my forefinger on it just to balance the drill basically, and pull the trigger. And I’m barely touching the drill. And the drill does all the work of boring this one and a half inch hole just because it keeps hitting over and over again. You’re not doing any work. So impact drills or drivers, they are a workhorse. They do all the work for you.
TM: I love it. You have these, you have these little experiments and these little videos for so many things, Reuben. It’s like, you need your own TV show. You know how like Bill Nye, the science guy, did all these experiments. It’s like Reuben, the tool guy with all of your tools and all your little setups.
RS: I definitely do. Well I put them on YouTube and someday it’ll get popular. But, I’d have to read the comments on YouTube and I just refuse to read any comments on there. ‘Cause.
TM: You don’t read them.
RS: No, I do not. No. It’ll ruin my day. People are mean.
TM: I got some nice ones in there too.
RS: It’s probably 90% nice, but those 10% or it’s probably more like 5%. But whatever. That just gets to me and it’s at the point where I’m like, I’m not even gonna read them. I don’t, I don’t need to know. Most of it is validation and trying to make myself feel good and I don’t need to do it.
TM: I never got the online bullying thing. It’s like, go do something better with your time. You know?
RS: Yes, yes.
RS: Make your own tool video. Okay.
RS: Yes. You literally have to sit around, watch a video and tell someone it sucks.
TM: Right. [laughter] Okay. So let’s get back to this tool list from our listeners Facebook group and all of these platforms that we post on. What’s the next tool that someone’s recommended?
RS: Okay, next one I had Eric said he had he’s tried the same drill. He loves a drill and he said, and I don’t know if this really needs to be on a homeowner’s tool list, but just for the topic of conversation, he said, have you ever tried the Milwaukee Electric Chainsaw? And I gotta tell you, if you’ve, if you’ve grown up using a gas powered chainsaw, I never had any problem with it. It’s just all I knew. You gotta choke it and pull it a bunch of times and get it going and it’s noisy. But boy, the first time you use a good electric chainsaw, like Milwaukee’s 18 volt chainsaw, it is amazing ’cause you just pick it up, you pull the trigger, you set it back down, and you don’t have this thing running all the time. And it is crazy powerful. I mean, it chews through trees like nobody’s business. It’s not gonna be quite as powerful as a huge chainsaw. But yeah, it is very powerful. It’ll get the job done very quickly and you just pick it up and go.
TM: Sounds like a game changer. Like once you try it, you’ll probably never go back.
RS: Yeah. Unless you’re doing serious logging and you need a gigantic bar and you’re gonna be doing it all day, okay, fine. You get the gas powered one. But for regular stuff around the house, I see no reason to ever get another gas powered chainsaw, I guess, other than cost. The electric chainsaws are not cheap, and they do take big batteries. I’ve got like a 12 Amp powered battery for my chainsaw. And in comparison drills are gonna take batteries rated like two to four.
TM: Okay. So Aaron mentioned Japanese pull saws and a hacksaw. I don’t know what a Japanese pull saw is. Have you used one Reuben?
RS: I have. And it’s a lot like a traditional wood saw, a hand saw for cutting wood.
TM: Okay. Yeah.
RS: On a traditional hand saw, most of the cutting action happens on the push part of it. A Japanese pull saw most of the cutting happens on the pull side of it.
RS: I’ve never owned one of those.
TM: I feel like that was an extra credit question and you just got the bonus points.
RS: Thank you.
TM: How many people know that? I don’t know. I’m continually amazed by your knowledge bank.
RS: Well, you spend some time working at a hardware store and then a Home Depot for the first 10 years of your life. You get to know those tools.
TM: And have a large tool collection. Yes.
RS: Oh, for sure. For sure.
RS: And I can say I’ve never owned a Japanese pull saw and I have owned hand me down hand saws. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased my own. And I think at some point I got rid of all of them. After a decade of having never picked one of them up. I got rid of ’em. I realized they’re just taking up room and I have no need for any of these, so I don’t own one. I would put those tools into the… You don’t need to own one of these categories and with a hacksaw. Okay, I guess a hacksaw is nice to have, but you know what? For my money, the most versatile saw you can have is gonna be, what’s more? The brand name is a Sawzall. The generic name is a reciprocating saw.
RS: I’d say if you’re going to have the batteries, you’re gonna have the batteries for your cordless drill or whatever. You’re not gonna spend that much extra to get yourself a reciprocating saw. And then you can put whatever blade you want in there. You can put in wood blades, you can put in metal cutting blades. It’ll take the place of a hacksaw. It’ll take the place of a Japanese pull saw, or a traditional handsaw, it’ll do all these things. I’d say it’s the most versatile saw that you could own. What do you think, Tess?
TM: I would agree with you on that. And I’ve used them a lot and I really like them much more than a hand saw. But for someone who is like, doesn’t use tools frequently or doesn’t wanna spend the extra money on something like that, then I guess you could just go with a tried and true regular hand saw.
RS: Okay. All right. Now, a hand saw is only gonna get you through wood, though. That is the problem.
TM: That’s true.
RS: You’re still gonna… Am I gonna make you change your answer or are you gonna stick with it?
TM: How much… I wonder how much, well, how much is a reciprocating or a Sawzall cost these days? Do you know?
RS: You know what, Tess? Story time now?
RS: Tess. No, it’s story time. Look, we used to feed our dog raw food. We would buy this raw food. It’s like it’s raw meat. It’s basically like hamburger. And it would come in these 10 pound tubes and they’d be frozen. And it was just always a challenge of how to get this into appropriate size discs to feed the dog. And so we figured out the least messy way of doing this was to use a reciprocating saw when it’s completely frozen.
TM: Oh my God.
RS: And cut it up into discs, and then stick those discs in the freezer in Ziploc bags. And I didn’t wanna wreck my reciprocating saw with ground meat. So I went to Walmart and I bought the cheapest reciprocating saw they had. How much did I spend on an electric, a plug-in? Not the battery power. How much did I spend for an electric reciprocating saw, Tessa?
TM: Oh my gosh. 60 bucks.
TM: You’re kidding.
RS: I bought… It was like a 4.7 amp reciprocating saw.
TM: Oh my God.
RS: And it’s still hanging up in my garage. It is the cheapest tool I own. But you know what, it did a perfectly good job of cutting through this frozen beef. And I’m sure for light duty use, it’ll get the job done. You don’t need cordless. That’s a luxury, but 18 bucks. Okay.
TM: All right. I’m on board. I’m on board with the reciprocating saw.
RS: All right. So, that’s my argument.
TM: Even though I don’t have a dog who needs frozen meat cut.
RS: Yep. So you can get those on the cheap.
TM: Sarge has a good life.
RS: The next… He does well, he used to have a good life. We don’t do that anymore. It just got to be too much of a pain in the butt because we’d buy this food and we’d come home with 100 pounds of food and my wife and I would set up shop in the driveway for the next hour or two. We’d be cutting up all of this beef. We’d be… Zip lock bags. One of us would cut it, she’d… I’d cut it, she’d bag it, we’d take turns and then there’d be chunks of beef that… That get all over like sawdust. But by the time you’re done, it’s melted and then you have to wash your driveway.
TM: Oh my God.
RS: It’s just like, there was no good solution.
TM: The carnage.
RS: I don’t know.
TM: What a violent…
RS: It was carnage.
TM: What a violent scene you’re describing here. Meat all over the driveway. Blood dripping off your saw. If anyone’s a vegetarian.
RS: Yeah, I’m sure…
TM: And you’re listening to this. I… We apologize.
RS: I… 1000% apologize. Especially to the vegans and…
TM: And the vegans.
RS: Maybe we’ve turned some people vegan at this point.
RS: I don’t know.
TM: I’m thinking about it honestly.
RS: But… I Bet. All right. Back to the list here. Had some people suggest some electrical testing stuff. Like the most basic one, I think would be an electrical sniffer or a voltage detector, something to detect voltage. Now, for me personally that is a must have for me. I keep it in my tool pouch anywhere I go. I’ve got my voltage tester, I’ve got several of them. I keep one in my pen collection on my desk here, just so I always have it.
TM: Of course you do.
RS: But of course, but my… The reason it didn’t make my original list is that now you’re getting into doing electrical work.
RS: And I’d have to make a presumption that every homeowner needs to do electrical work. I don’t think electrical work is for everybody. I mean, it’s easy enough to replace a cover plate. Great.
RS: But once you get into actually replacing an outlet or a switch, I don’t call that work for every homeowner, so I didn’t put it on my list.
TM: No I…
TM: No, I…
RS: If you’re gonna venture into that.
TM: I agree with that argument. I was just…
RS: What’s up, Tess?
TM: I agree with that argument. I was thinking that too. It’s like if you are going to be doing some electrical work or dabbling, then yes, it’s a must have. But I would say for most homeowners, hire an electrician if you’re gonna be doing electrical work and you don’t feel comfortable with it.
RS: Yeah. Yeah. Or have a friend who is comfortable and knows what they’re doing and watch them do it once and then have them watch you do it, and then go ahead and do it on your own, but don’t just jump into it.
TM: Well, and along those lines too, an electrical tester, someone wrote in an outlet tester, which you know…
TM: It’s, that’s a less dangerous tool. You’re plugging in to see if your outlet is working properly and I could get on board with that.
RS: Yeah. Yeah. If you’re gonna get into electrical stuff, I suppose a couple of the first tools you might get would be a voltage sniffer, a voltage detector, and an outlet tester. Those are nice tools to get into it, but I don’t know if you definitely need one of those.
TM: And there is a difference in voltage sniffers out there. I know from experience. I’ve bought some cheap ones and they were not accurate. And so what would you recommend for a good voltage sniffer?
RS: The Fluke 2AC, and it’s gonna be rated at 90 volts or higher.
TM: That’s the key.
RS: The beauty of that is that you don’t get those false positives. Yes.
RS: Yes. Exactly.
TM: Okay. Thanks for clearing that up.
RS: All right. Certainly. Okay, moving on. Tim suggests, oh wait, this says a needle nose pliers. I already have a long nose pliers on my list, so I don’t think we need to say needle nose. They’re so similar. We already talked about the difference last week.
RS: Had someone suggest reading glasses, [laughter] I gotta chuckle at that. It depends on the person. I mean, I’m almost 45. I don’t need reading glasses yet. I’ve still got good vision, but I know that right around this age is when that skill starts to decline. How about Tess? Tess for you, you’re a long ways away from needing those.
TM: Oh, man, you know what? From staring at a computer screen the last two years, I feel like my closeup eyesight has definitely changed a little bit. I’m not to the point of needing bifocals or readers yet, but thank goodness. Hopefully I can get a few more years [laughter] outta my eyes before I need that, but…
RS: Okay, good.
TM: Yeah. This person I just wanna mention too, this I love this person also put, on besides reading glasses, they put toilet plunger aspirin and a first aid kit. [laughter]
RS: Yes. Yes. First aid kit aspirin. Come on. Everybody should have those. And I mean, those would surely go on a nurse’s must have list.
RS: And that’s my wife. She’s a nurse. So those would truly go on hers. And then the toilet plunger. Yeah. What house doesn’t need a toilet plunger?
TM: How did we not think of that? That is definite must have.
RS: Yeah. I don’t think of that as a tool, but I mean it most certainly is, it…
TM: I would call it a tool.
RS: That is definitely a tool.
RS: Yep Every home needs to have at least one toilet plunger. For sure. And that’s all we’re gonna say about it right?
TM: And moving on.
RS: Yeah, moving on… This person, I don’t know if this is a joke or not, Corey said every homeowner should have a water shutoff tool, and they even included a picture of a water shutoff tool. Now, this is the tool that the city would use to shut off water to your house at the street. Surely he’s joking that has to be a joke as luck would have it. I do own one of those, just by dumb chance.
TM: Of course you do.
RS: The city was doing work on my house, and the city workers left it at my house. And I called the waterworks department twice, saying, “Hey, you left your wrench here.” “Yeah, just leave it at the street. Well come get it.” And after two months of it sitting out at the street, they never got it. And I finally said, “Well, I’m keeping it.” So… [laughter]
TM: Add it to the collection.
TM: Have you ever used it?
RS: I did use it once, Tess.
TM: Oh my God.
RS: I had a neighbor, he was out of town and his sprinkler system burst and he had water shooting up and in the air like a geyser. And I called him and he is like, “I’m out of town. I don’t know what to do.” I’m like, “You know what, I got you covered.” I was able to…
TM: Oh my God. You’re the best neighbor to have ever except for meat day when it, when you bring the dog food home. But other than that, I would not mind having you as a neighbor.
RS: Yeah. Until I pull out my tools and I’m snow blowing at five in the mornings.
TM: Okay. Whoa, whoa. No. You’re not the best neighbour.
RS: Using my leaf blower it balances out. Yeah. It balances out. There’s good and bad.
TM: Wow. Well, that’s awesome that you saved your neighbor’s yard from all the busted up irrigation system.
TM: I See you.
RS: Yeah, I was that’s a one time I’ve used it. Haven’t touched it again since. Okay. We got Corey also said a couple of pipe wrenches and a hacksaw and we already covered the hacksaw I’d say get a reciprocating saw. And pipe wrenches, if you’re doing more serious plumbing, there is no substitute for a pipe wrench. A Robo Grip pliers or a Channellock pliers can get you close. You can really grab onto a pipe pretty tight with those, but it’s not gonna be the same gripping strength as an actual pipe wrench.
RS: So pipe wrenches are nice. I feel like I use mine quite infrequently, but there is no substitute for a pipe wrench when you really need one.
RS: Sergio, love this one, Sergio says a bottle opener, of course for when the job is done.
TM: How could we forget that?
TM: How could we leave that out?
RS: We love that. Yep. I don’t know how that didn’t make our list. If you have a tungsten carbide wedding ring, you don’t need a bottle opener I’ll throw that out there. You can use your ring to open bottles, but that’s not a trick that everybody wants to do.
TM: Do you have a YouTube video of you displaying that skill?
RS: Oh, there’s gotta be a million people who do that. Maybe I will. I’ll do it. [laughter]
TM: Add it to the list.
RS: Karen says a wet dry vacuum. That is a nice suggestion. Karen? Yeah. How could I forget that? Everybody needs one of those. So versatile. I’ve seen neighbors taking their traditional indoor vacuum out and trying to clean their car out and even some of them have a hose that comes out, but it’s just not the same as a wet dry vac. Yeah. Wet dry vac. Yeah. That, that should definitely go on my list. Nice suggestion.
TM: She mentions using it after her water heater failed and after her washing machine flooded. So there are definitely…
RS: Yeah, yeah.
TM: Reasons to have that. And along those lines, I don’t think we mentioned this, but did we, did we talk about the little handheld vacuums? Like Milwaukee has one…
RS: No, I didn’t put that on my list.
TM: Gosh, and I guess I don’t know if that’s a tool or, just part of home maintenance and cleaning and stuff, but along those lines, instead of taking your big vacuum out to your car, having one of those little handheld vacuums is super nice for stuff like that.
RS: Yeah. Yeah. Those are great. Milwaukee, love theirs for a long time before I got into Milwaukee, I had the RYOBI version of it. That was a nice one too.
RS: Like a dust buster essentially. Right?
TM: Exactly. Yes, that’s what it is. Yeah.
RS: Yeah. Yeah. Those are nice. Let’s see, what else do we have on the list here? We got, Mark says a pry bar.
RS: Not a bad suggestion, you’re getting into taking stuff apart, but I do like the Pry bar suggestion. He also says a 1 1/2 inch rigid putty knife.
RS: And I would almost argue if you’ve got one or two putty knives, you can get a lot of stuff done with those that…
RS: You might use a pry bar for. They’re not gonna get as…
TM: As strong.
RS: As big into stuff pry bars, yeah, you can pull framing apart with a pry bar, but with putty knives, you can get pretty much all trim apart without causing damage to it. They are nice. So, I like both of those suggestions. And he also says, Mark says, “A carpenter’s pencil.” Of course you need a carpenter’s pencil for sure. Heather suggests a level. Nice suggestion. I like it. I don’t know what size level, four foot is great, but I don’t think everybody needs that. I think a nice two-foot level is probably the most versatile. I might suggest a two-foot level is good to have. Although, one thing I’ll say, if you’re hanging pictures, things like that, something that’s just as good to make sure something’s level is have somebody stand back and tell you if it’s level or not. ‘Cause you’ll know if it’s off level, you can tell a 1/4 inch off level just by looking at something. But when…
TM: Most people can, Not all, but Yeah, I agree. A two-foot level is nice, but I’ve used my four-foot level on so many things that I didn’t even think I would need it for, like putting up shelving or series of pictures across the wall. It is nice to have, but definitely some sort of level is good.
RS: Yep. Have Scott suggesting some personal protective equipment. Little PPEs says work gloves, safety glasses, or goggles. Oh, man. Yeah.
TM: Thank you Scott for that recommendation.
RS: You need those.
TM: Yes. [laughter]
TM: We should all be using them.
RS: Very good suggestion. He said maybe a stud finder.
TM: He doesn’t have earplugs on there, but earplugs would be a good one.
RS: Oh, yeah. Anytime you’re using a power tool, earplugs are a must for sure.
RS: And he says maybe a stud finder. I love the suggestion of a stud finder or these things Eric Houseman turned me onto these called stud buddies. It’s basically a magnet. That’s all it is. It’s a magnet that’s a big long strip and you wave it around and you can find your studs just about as reliably as you would with a stud finder. It’s not quite as quick because it’ll attach to the drywall screws, but you get a pair of these and they just stick to your wall and then it gives you perfect visual indications of where your studs are. I love those things and that’s really been my go-to now. And you never have to worry about a battery dying.
TM: Right. It’s very helpful.
RS: So, some type of stud finding device like that. Yep.
RS: Yep. So, Bee said standard pliers. Yeah. We talked about different types of pliers. Said a level we cover that. A wood saw. Yep. Hacksaw, we talked about that. All good suggestions. Had someone say, Daniel says a vice grips. Yep. I love vice grips. That’s another type of pliers. There is no substitute for a vice grips, just keeping something held tightly in place. That is a great suggestion. He says a mallet. I personally, I own a couple of mallets. I don’t reach for them all that often. I’m not sure why every home owner needs one. I’m never gonna argue with any tool. [laughter]
TM: Yeah, I…
RS: And he points out I don’t have any type of saw listed.
TM: And then he lists a bunch of other stuff for keeping stuff together. He says things like, WD-40. Come on, everybody needs a can of WD-40, duct tape. Who can argue with duct tape? Everybody needs duct tape for everything. Crazy glue or super glue, I guess, keep that in your kitchen drawer, I suppose. Electrical tape, that’s only if you’re doing electrical work. Sure, you need it.
RS: Zip ties. Zip ties are great for so many things. And he says 1 inch drywall screws. Okay. All right.
TM: Random, but, okay.
RS: Random, yeah. If I’m gonna buy one size drywall screw, I would personally, I might get 1 1/2 or 2 inch drywall screw. And something I prefer to drywall screws is more of a multipurpose screw, something like the one it’s… The one I like, it’s made by SPAX, S-P-A-X. And these are good for going into wood and concrete and drywall and all these other different materials, and they don’t have the super thin heads that will snap off like a drywall screw will. So I might get more of a multipurpose screw, but whatever. We get your point, Dan. Yeah, you need screws. Let’s see, what else do we have here? We got more people who said duct tape. Had somebody say, drywall compound, a drywall spatula and a sanding block. Now that’s if you’re gonna go into repairing drywall, I don’t know about that. I suppose maybe.
TM: Maybe just some basic like wall patching stuff. But, even that, I don’t know.
RS: I can’t argue, that’s definitely something that I keep in my house. And I’ve got more people who said different types of wrenches. I think that’s where I probably missed the mark the biggest is [chuckle] wrenches are pliers. And somebody also, Aaron said a painter’s multi-tool would suggest adding that to the list. And I think what he means by a painter’s multi-tool is it’s gonna be kinda like a putty knife and a paint roller cleaner and a few other things. It’s kind of an all-in-one tool. I will admit, when I was doing home inspections, I carried that around in my tool pouch and I would use the putty knife feature of it most often. I did like having that.
TM: Good to know. Someone else mentioned, I think I read earlier too that those little magnet mirrors that if you drop something behind like a washing machine and you need to get it out, you can use these little magnet extensions to reach it and get it out.
RS: Oh, yeah. You know what? Those are great. A magnetic pickup tool, but also if you get the tape measure that we talked about that’s got a magnetic tip on it, you have no need for a magnetic pickup tool. Yeah. Yeah. Your tape measurable double as that.
TM: Two-in-one. We like efficiency.
RS: Two-in-one. All right. Well Tess, this was way more discussion than I thought we were gonna have. I thought we were gonna blow through this list in 10 minutes and have a quick podcast episode.
TM: Well, apparently there’s a lot of tools we missed and there’s a lot of some really good suggestions on here. So thanks, everyone.
RS: Yeah. Thank you all for weighing in. When I publish my revised list in five years [laughter], I will have a lot of extra tools to add on here. Thank you all. I appreciate it. Well, next week… You know what? I’m not even gonna tease it next week ’cause I’m not sure. We may be having a guest on next week, we may not, we’ll see. Whatever it is, we’ll catch you all next week. Bye.
TM: Talk to you later.
RS: Thanks Tess, take care.